Partial sleep deprivation may trigger obesity

Washington: While weight-loss strategies incorporate lifestyle changes focusing on diet and exercise, a new research has suggested that modifications in an individual’s daily routine, including sleep behaviours, can help manage weight.

The study found that partial sleep deprivation affects ghrelin and leptin levels, resulting in increased appetite.

“Various investigations, although diverse, indicate an effect of partial sleep deprivation on body weight management,” said lead investigator Sharon M. Nickols-Richardson, PhD, MD, professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

“The intriguing relationship between partial sleep deprivation and excess adiposity makes partial sleep deprivation a factor of interest in body weight regulation, particularly in weight loss,” she stated.

The research team evaluated articles published between 1996 and 2011 to determine the role of partial sleep deprivation on energy balance and weight regulation.

As part of its methodology, the team constructed a series of comparative tables detailing individual study populations, study designs, energy intake, energy expenditure, and measurements of the hormones ghrelin, leptin, insulin, glucose, and cortisol.

Analysis of these characteristics identified a set of patterns, including reduced insulin sensitivity, increases in ghrelin, and decreases in leptin among partially sleep-deprived individuals. Changes in ghrelin and leptin influenced energy intake among the study populations.

“Changes in these hormones coinciding with an energy-reduced diet paired with changes in response to partial sleep deprivation may be expected to increase ghrelin and decrease leptin concentrations even further to promote hunger,” said Dr. Nickols-Richardson.

The researchers calls for further research to determine the effects of sleep deprivation on body composition and substrate use and suggests that evaluation of an individual’s sleep patterns combined with regular, sufficient sleep may benefit healthy weight management.

The study has been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


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